Banned Biotech Corn Variety Still Showing Up in U.S. Food Supplies

Genetically engineered StarLink corn is still contaminating U.S. food supplies, three years after it was pulled from the market. StarLink, which produces its own pesticide, was approved in 1998 — but only for use in animal feed or industrial processes because of concerns that it might cause severe allergic reactions in humans. In 2000, though, it was found to have made its way into numerous consumer products, ranging from taco shells to muffin mixes, so the U.S. government rescinded its approval. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite do the trick. The feds continue to find traces of StarLink in corn supplies; more than 1 percent of samples tested in the past 12 months revealed StarLink contamination. The lingering modified genes are bolstering fears that the U.S. government is simply not equipped to effectively regulate and control the spread of genetically engineered crops — a particularly worrisome notion now that field tests are being conducted on crops that produce vaccines, medicines, and industrial chemicals.